UCL Faculty of Laws


Call for Papers: Queering Private Law Workshop

24 March 2023–02 May 2023, 8:00 am–11:55 pm

Queering private Law Workshop at UCL

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws Events

Workshop date: 11 & 12 September 2023
Deadline for Submissions: 2 May 2023

Workshop Overview:

Queer theory and private law are seldom in direct dialogue. Queer theory emphasises indeterminacy and social construction. In contrast, Private Law is typically associated with economic rationality and liberal and neo-liberal beliefs to advance individuals’ autonomy and rights, and relies on binary norms and divisions, such as reasonable/unreasonable, wrongful/non-wrongful, misfeasance/malfeasance.

In recent years, scholars have begun to explore queer theory as a tool to critically appraise various legal fields, such as family law and criminal law. Yet, with few exceptions, queer theory has not been applied to critically analyse private law despite queer theory’s valuable explanatory power and tools for critique. This workshop seeks to fill this gap.

We invite scholars focusing on various areas of private law (broadly defined) to submit abstracts of works-in-progress to presentation in one of five panels:  

  1. Private Law and the Closet – analysing the ways in which the closet structures queer lives and everyday private law.
  2. Queer Confrontations – discussing how queer defiance and resistance can improve private law and how private law should evaluate and respond to such activity.
  3. Queer Cases Make Bad Private Law – exploring cases and statutes to highlight the question of how queer subjects are imagined by judges and lawmakers in private law.
  4. The Pleasure of Private Law – investigating how private law influences queer bodies and pleasures, and how queer pleasures problematize private law doctrines.
  5. Queering the Private Law Curriculum (roundtable) – exploring private law’s queer turn, and how we can reconnect, reorder, and claim queer sensitivities and methodologies in private law knowledge production and pedagogy.

Submissions for this event are now closed.

The workshop will operate on a pre-read basis and only works-in-progress are eligible. Papers that have been accepted for publication but can still be changed until the date of the workshop are eligible. Presenters will be expected to submit their papers, which should be up to 10,000 words including footnotes, by August 14 for circulation. The Modern Law Review is funding the workshop and has expressed interest in considering papers present in the workshop for publication. Presenters will be expected to attend both days of the workshop.

Keynote speakers:

  • The Hon. Dr. Victoria McCloud, Master of The Senior Courts, King’s Bench Division.
  • Prof. Simon Stern, Director, Centre for Innovation Law & Policy; Chair in Innovation Law, University of Toronto.


Workshop organizers have some funding to assist with travel and accommodation. To promote diversity and inclusivity, we intend to allocate funds for travel based on need, with preference given to early career scholars, under-represented voices, as well as proportionately to take into account that travel costs for some will be greater than for others. We have a limit budget and ask for those who would seek travel assistance to include in their submission a note with a rough amount of the funding sought.

Workshop’s co-convenors:

Dr Haim Abraham, Lecturer in Law, University College London, Faculty of Laws;
Dr Eden Sarid, Lecturer in Law, Essex Law School.

Please address any questions to:
Dr Eden Sarid: e.sarid@essex.ac.uk